Whether you are craving a coffee or a vegan burrito, now you can let Penn Dining know by using “#PennCraves,” Penn Dining’s hashtag of choice for receiving student feedback.
In 2014, Penn Dining looked to increase its outreach to students and opportunity for student feedback through the use of social media. "We were thinking of using a Twitter [hashtag] and found that 'crave' would be just the right word," Director of Business Services Pam Lampitt said. Thus the popular hashtag was born. Dining used the hashtag on its social media throughout the summer, hosting a "30 Days of Dining" campaign.
Penn Dining asked students what they craved, “and the answer that we kept getting back again and again was ‘convenience,’” Lampitt said. Students also responded with “healthy,” “variety” and “vegan” among other cravings.
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“Personally, I’m craving for them to have a greater variety of fresh foods and options,” College sophomore Krisna Maddy said. “I would definitely want them to increase the freshness.”
College sophomores Cassie Huang and former Daily Pennsylvanian contributing reporter Kendra Hong are craving more free dining events.
“I really enjoyed the food at the barbecue for upperclassmen that [Penn Dining] hosted,” Huang said. “It would be fantastic if they planned similar events in the near future.”
“I’m really craving a big food festival, like a day at Penn where they have different international foods and represent all of the places where Penn students come from,” Hong said.
Lampitt said that Penn Dining is looking to increase the number of pop-up events, like the Upperclassmen Barbecue, which will be branded with #PennCraves all over them.
#PennCraves works well as a tagline for Penn Dining, Lampitt said. “It’s a means to identify what we are delivering to students, and to communicate that [Penn Dining] is one operation looking to provide the community what they want.”
“We want students to know that Dining is a community, not just a couple of dining halls, and I think that the tagline PennCraves helps to get that message across,” Lampitt said.
“We’re always looking for feedback from the students and this has been a fun way, a social media way, to learn what students are craving, whether it’s coffee or community,” Barbara Lea-Kruger, the director of communications and external relations at Business Services, said. “It’s a different avenue for students to tell us what they want.”
While some shared their cravings for food, the Penn Environmental Group shared its "craving" for conservation.
Working with PEG, Penn Dining handed out thousands of reusable water bottles during New Student Orientation. The bottles came complete with a map of all of the water-bottle filling stations across campus.
JinAh Kim, a College sophomore, is not craving much from Penn Dining, as she chose not to purchase another meal plan.
“I don’t eat a lot at one time, so having a dining plan with meal swipes was never very cost-efficient for me,” Kim said.
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